The Buddhist view that strong attachments contribute to misery can seem to lead to a life in some ways higher in its purposes. The amount of angst that can accompany a scratch on a new car or a bad referee’s report hardly seems to improve one’s life, right? And perhaps for many people, it is easy to feel that having children is just too hard. So I am far from wanting to laugh at the following quotes attributed to the Dalai Lama.
Still, it is stunning to find a list of reasons with which one agrees and a conclusion one’s whole life has rejected.
Conjugal life causes too many “ups and downs”, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters in a Lagos hotel.
“Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually, I think is short-period satisfaction and, often, that leads to more complication,” he said.
“Naturally as a human being…some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those relationships are always full of trouble.”
Problems arising from conjugal life could even lead to suicide or murder, the Dalai Lama warned. …
“Too much attachment towards your children, towards your partner,” was “one of the obstacles or hindrances of peace of mind,” he said.
I guess the thing that is causing my sense of amazement is that though people seem frequently to say – or to agree to – the claim that close sexual relaitonships have a lot of ups and downs, that isn’t usually considered a reason for not getting into any at all.
And that makes me think that the perspective from which it is a good reason contains alternatives not easily available to many of us. It is a life, the Dalai Lama says, with more independence and freedom, but those may also require a context before they are the full basis for a life.
What do you think?